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Friday, June 15, 2012

You Can’t Have It

While hockey action around the goal is photographed most often, a player carrying the puck with an opponent in close pursuit provides a more unusual shot.

Boston Bruins’ defenseman Ray Bourque (7) rounds his net with the puck, but falls to one knee as he is pursued by Hartford Whalers’ forward Bernie Johnston (24) as Bruin goalie Gerry Cheevers (30) watches (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).
The Photo:
Ray Bourque was the Boston Bruins' best player for many years, and the defensive end of the ice was his responsibility.  He was one of the best defensemen in the National Hockey League at moving the puck out of his end, so I was trying to photograph Bourque to convey his role and contribution to the Bruins’ success. At one point in this game, the Hartford Whalers were putting constant pressure on the Boston goal, and most of the Bruins kept throwing the puck out of their end off the side boards.  None of the checking along the boards had been great pictures, but on this play, Bourque took charge and tried to carry the puck out himself as the Hartford forwards bumped him, but even as he fell to one knee, he managed to pass the puck up ice to a Bruin teammate.  Bourque carrying the puck on one knee was a far superior shot than him merely being checked against the boards.
3 Tips:
1) Players fighting for puck possession make very strong hockey photos.
2) Puck possession photos are frequently collisions and skirmishes along the side boards.
3) Look also for players carrying the puck as they are being pursued or checked.